Lima Central Catholic boys basketball coach Frank Kill was asked about taking over for legendary coach Bob Seggerson last season.
Kill glanced down at his blue shirt and tan slacks.
"I guess I’m dressed a little like Seg today," Kill said. "Taking over for Seg is a challenge, but the good thing is that he’s a phone call away."
LCC was one of eight schools that took part in the Lima Rotary boys basketball preview luncheon Monday at the Lima Memorial Civic Center.
Here’s a quick look at previews on Allen East, Bath, Elida, Lima Central Catholic, Lima Senior, Perry, Shawnee, Temple Christian. Last year’s records are in parenthesis.
Allen East (3-18, 0-9 Northwest Conference)
The Mustangs have five seniors returning in 6-foot Jon Swaney, 6-4 Jacob Howard, 6-foot Evan Miller, 6-2 James Richardson and 6-1 Dylan Mulholland.
Also back is 6-foot guard/forward Ross Stewart, who started as a freshman last year.
"This is the tallest team we’ve had in years," Allen East coach Rick Sherrick said. "Matt Shuey had a dunk in a game this summer that got our kids so excited. We haven’t had a dunk in a game for quite a while. Now we have four or five games over 6-4."
Bath (8-13, 3-6 Western Buckeye League)
Bath graduated point guard Johny Simindinger, but has plenty returning, including shooting guard Brad Davis (14 ppg).
Also back are inside players Nate Heffner and Keaton Sullivan.
The Wildcats also return Cole Chambers and Logan Rockhold. Off the junior varsity team will be shooters 6-2 Coliln Gossard and Taren Sullivan.
"We have depth. We can press if needed," Bath coach Doug Davis said. "We want to move the ball on offense. You’ll see us push the ball down the floor and then find someone open on the perimeter who can knock down a three."
Elida (13-9, 5-4 WBL)
Once football is over, quarterback Reggie McAdams will take off his helmet and head to the basketball court. McAdams averaged 19 points per game and was the WBL player of the year last yaer.
While McAdams continues to steer the Bulldogs’ football team, guard Aric Thompson and guard Dakota Mathias have helped hold down the fort.
"It’s going to be harder to focus on Reggie (McAdams) this year," Elida coach Denny Thompson said. "We have some others who can hurt you."
Also back are Mike McDonald and Ebin Strattion.
Newcomers include Cory Royster, from Shawnee, Jeremy Newby and Domonique Painter.
"Guys may be coming out late for basketball, but if the confidence and competitiveness they’ve shown in football carries through into basketball, that’s a big plus," Thompson said.
Lima Central Catholic (19-4, 7-2 NWC)
The T-Birds graduated Bubba Krieg, Jon Steiger and Austin Stolly.
But LCC has plenty coming back. Top returnees are guard/foward Tyler O’Connor (12 ppg, 8 reb.), forward John Kidd (8 ppg) and guard Billy Taflinger (8 ppg).
Also back are Anthony "Tank" Wilkerson and Tre’on Johnson. Rookies to watch include Darius West and Bruce Hodges. Sam Huffman will be out with a shoulder injury.
Expect coach Frank Kill to run as much as he can.
"We have five seniors returning along with a very talented sophomore class," Kill said. "We’ll push the ball up and down the court. We’re the type of team that can go with eight or nine guys."
Lima Senior (12-7, 7-3 Greater Buckeye Conference)
Gone is the GBC.
In its place Lima Senior has joined the Three Rivers Athletic Conference with the likes of Toledo St. John’s, Findlay, Oregon Clay, Toledo St. Francis DeSales, Toledo Central Catholic, Fremont Ross and Toledo Whitmer.
Expect to see a number of high caliber Division I players throughout the league. Lima Senior coach Shawn Allen hopes that this schedule makes his team tournament ready in March.
"It’s very competitive with some traditional powerhouses," Allen said. "On any given night, you’ll see some big-time athletes."
As for the Spartans, guard Tyler White (17.2 ppg) will once again lead the way. He has signed with Division II Northern Kentucky. The point guard will be veteran Devon Allen.
Perry (9-13, 5-2 Northwest Central Conference)
The key returnee for the Commodores is point guard Kevonte Steele (19 ppg., 4.5 assists).
Also back are guard/forward Quis Woods and forward Shaquille Douglas.
Perry strengths include Steele and the team’s rebounding and defense.
The Commodores lost to Columbus Grove 38-34 in the tournamanet last year and gave the Bulldogs quite a scare. Playing with one of the top teams in the NWC hopes to give the team confidence for this season.
Shawnee (6-15, 2-7 WBL)
Trey Howard has graduated and took his 23 points per game with him.
That will put pressure on returning veterans forward James Williamson, guard Thomas Nolte and 6-5, 235-pound Seth Rosenbauer to lead the way.
"We’ll be more balanced," Shawnee coach Don Vogt said. "We have to since Trey Howard graduated."
Shawnee will rely on its defense and rebounding until the offensive jells.
Among the rookies to watch are Thad Vernon, Trey Brock, Marques Miller, Austin Lause and Cole Pohjala.
Temple Christian (12-9, 5-2 NWCC)
The Pioneers graduated two of their top scorers in Josh Kroehler and Austin Sutton.
Among the veterans are guard Evan Sutton, guard Kent Brenneman and 6-1 Andrew Rhoad. Evan Sutton shot 37 percent on 3-pointers.
Others in the mix are Cole Beals, Eric Goodman, Jared Mitchell and Josh Rone.
The team has good size with 6-4 Mitchell, 6-4 Kroehler, 6-2 Beals and 6-2 Rhoad.
"The game plan will be to push it up fast," Temple Christian coach Bruce Bowman said. "We have some big gys that can really help us get things going."
The Pioneers will once again be in the mix for the top spot in the NWCC.
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